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  • News

    Ancient jaw may hold clues to origins of human genus

    Researchers have discovered what they regard as the oldest known fossil from the human genus, Homo. But questions about the evolutionary status of the approximately 2.8-million-year-old lower jaw have already emerged.Found in 2013 resting atop eroding soil in Ethiopia’s Ledi-Geraru research area, the fossil jaw contains several signature Homo features, including small and...
    03/04/2015 - 13:00 Human Evolution, Anthropology, Ancestry
  • Science Ticker

    CDC panel gives thumbs up to vaccine against nine HPV types

    A federal vaccine advisory committee voted February 26 to recommend use of an expanded version of the human papillomavirus shot marketed as Gardasil.The move, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, clears the way for the broader-coverage vaccine, called Gardasil 9, to be used in the clinic. Current vaccines offer protection against up to...
    02/26/2015 - 18:44 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Genetic tweaks built humans’ bigger brains

    Human brains ballooned to about triple the size of their ancestors’ thanks to just a few genetic tweaks, new research suggests.When scientists inject a gene found only in humans into the brains of mouse embryos, the normally smooth mouse brain develops the crinkles and folds reminiscent of wrinkly human brains, scientists ...
    02/26/2015 - 14:00 Human Evolution, Molecular Evolution, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Wheat reached England before farming

    Hunter-gatherers living on England’s southern coast imported wheat 2,000 years before agriculture sprouted in the British Isles, a new study suggests.This trading among hunter-gatherers and farmers laid the groundwork for agriculture’s spread across Northwest Europe, propose archaeogeneticist Oliver Smith of the University...
    02/26/2015 - 14:00 Anthropology, Genetics
  • Context

    Islamic science paved the way for a millennial celebration of light

    When it comes to celebrating scientific anniversaries, there aren’t many opportunities to look back a whole millennium. Western Europe in the 11th century was about as scientifically astute as an anti-vaccine convention today. But farther east, in the Islamic world, numerous savants were hard at work preserving and expanding the wisdom of the ancient Greeks.Soon after the advent of Islam,...
    02/24/2015 - 18:06 History of Science
  • Screentime

    Enjoy scientific curios collected over decades

    View slideshowIn Renaissance Europe, scholars and collectors built curiosity cabinets and filled them with marvels of art and natural history. Catalogs of the contents of these privately held “wonder rooms” were sometimes published to share scientific knowledge, and larger collections formed the basis for museums. Fast-forward to 2013, when chemist...
    02/22/2015 - 08:00 Science & Society, History of Science, Physics
  • Reviews & Previews

    'This Idea Must Die' singles out scientific theories ready for retirement

    This Idea Must DieJohn Brockman, Ed.Harper Perennial, $15.99“Science advances by a series of funerals,” writes John Brockman, founder of the online discussion forum...
    02/21/2015 - 11:00 Science & Society, Physics, Biomedicine
  • News

    Gene variant may foretell success in program for at-risk kids

    A particular genetic variant can indicate whether children at risk for developing serious behavior problems are more likely to benefit from an early intervention program, a new study shows.Researchers are a long way, though, from being able to conduct genetic tests to identify grade-schoolers most likely to respond to such programs, cautions psychologist Dustin Albert of Duke University in Durham...
    02/20/2015 - 08:00 Psychology, Genetics
  • Science Ticker

    Brute-force chemistry study retracted

    A notable 2011 chemistry study in which scientists reported a brawny method to break sturdy chemical structures has been retracted.In the retraction notice, published in the Feb. 20 Science, Science editor in chief Marcia McNutt writes that 50...
    02/19/2015 - 14:00 Chemistry, Science & Society
  • News

    Fossil teeth flesh out ancient kids’ varied growth rates

    Kids who belonged to now-extinct species in the human evolutionary family grew at unexpected rates, unlike the growth of either present-day people or apes, a new study of their teeth finds. As a result, the researchers can now more accurately estimate ages at death for ancient hominid youngsters whose fossil teeth have been found.Using X-ray technology to examine microscopic growth lines inside...
    02/18/2015 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution